Annabel Hayden and her dog Karamel participate in the Chase Me Charlie competition.
Annabel Hayden and her dog Karamel participate in the Chase Me Charlie competition.

The Cayman Riding School is casting about for some smaller competitors.

The Savannah-based riding school, which is affiliated with the British Pony Club, held an educational and fun afternoon program of dog agility training last Saturday. The school teamed with Heidi Suarez Rivera from Must Love Dogs to run the dogs through paces normally reserved for their horses.

Tracey Surrey, the owner and riding instructor at Cayman Riding School, said it was important for the school to have a wide-ranging group of programs that help develop their riders in other areas.

“We try to incorporate a wide variety of events’ to educate our young members in as many ways as possible,” Ms. Surrey said. “From teaching our children what to do in the event of a fire, human first aid and CPR, veterinary care, respect for the beaches and countryside – the events we organize are very varied – but all aimed at learning a wide variety of life skills in a safe and fun environment.”

The Cayman Riding School hopes to demonstrate to the youngsters that it is important to learn the everyday commitment and responsibility involved in taking care of an animal.

The dogs were run through several new skills last Saturday, and handlers were able to direct the dogs through a variety of obstacles. The children were given instructions on how to care for and train their dogs, and they spent several hours running them around the obstacle course.

“Whilst some of our four-legged friends may need a little more practice, both dogs and their young handlers had so much fun and all went home exhausted but very happy,” Ms. Surrey said. “We plan to incorporate dog agility into our new series of show jumping competitions for 2018.”